Review by Lulu Davenport, photos by Sean Larkin
After an eventful Saturday night, Bloodstock awakens from a sun scorched and content slumber, 2015 is far from over, yet the organisers are busy preparing for next year’s event ,as the busy bees from H.Q announce Venom and Behemoth as the first headliners, ripples of excitement begins to ignite and there are already murmurs of ticket buying. The festival camp begins to gently stir a few hours before the new blood stage kicks into action, as the possibly still drunk metal worshippers creep out from their nylon confinement to seek out this, the third day of musical mayhem.
Metal to the masses winner Skarthia rip open the Hobgoblin endorsed stage, fuelled by rhythm guitarist Sapir Rajuan she provides the band with a lighter more melodic edge. Aided by Avichai “Av” Myers on lead vocal they create a powerful dynamic interplay both vocally and musically. ‘Parasite’ from the album Retaliation is introduced by this poignant quote “One thing we must remember we scar ourselves and become our own parasite”. For the half awake moshers, the pounding drums is enough to awaken even the most incoherent bystander. The slot is a deserving win for the north London band whose sound is varied enough to keep it interesting and fresh.
Hot on the trail of Skarthia, Hells Gazelles inject a sense of fun into their dose of rock. Charismatic front man Cole Bryant leads his young merry band with catchy songs like ‘Your A Jezebel Queen’ and draw their set to a close with ‘Shivers’. The Oxford based band’s energy and attitude quickly gained a following with the crowd drawing new fans into their highly talented lair. Not bad seeing as though they haven’t even released a debut E.P. yet. One to watch.
Swedish old school metallers Wolf battle the blistering heat through tracks from their new album Devil Seed, continuously thankful and appreciative of their U.K crowd. The band are celebrating 2o years with a back catalogue of hits played including ‘Evil Star’ ,’The Bite’ and ‘Speed On’. Lead vocalist Niklas Stalvind even announces the launch of their own branded beer, samples next time though guys!!
Hailing from the mainly Nottingham neck of the woods Spirytus deliver their ferocious groove metal to a largely unsuspecting audience. Their finely honed skills have been crafts manly built over their decade long reign. Tracks ‘Man Dem’ and’ Crucify’ electrified an already spoilt for musical choice, New Blood stage. Front man Ryan Walton connected with the crowd by diving in randomly taking as many crowd selfies as humanly possible. The band would quite possibly tear Bloodstock a new one if placed further up the bill at a later time.
Pro Pain announce themselves with ‘Death Wish’ followed by ‘Sucks To Be You’ and ‘The Shape Of Things To Come. The first mosh pits of the day take shape warming the crowd up nicely for next act Sepultura.
The Sophie Lancaster stage hosts Ol Drake in his newest adventure, Old Rake. The visual that greets the spectator is an unusal one, the guitarist formally of Evile takes centre stage accompanied by the drummer from Foetal Juice. Nothing odd there, but add two figures dressed in green head-to-toe morph suits, brandishing a rake each, verges on the bizarre. The sound is quite beautiful, although the emphasis is clearly about figuring out what’s going on stage. This curiosity is enough, however, to keep up a stage show which as a duo must be a harder battle than a full band. His sense of humour is apparent in the song titles as he plays ‘Guitarist Playing Guitar’,’Onions’ and ‘Spaceship Janitor’. The two mystery men were revealed by Ol to be those crazy boffins from Evil Scarecrow, ahhhh it all makes sense.
A mention to Jagermeister stage band Big Foot that, despite showing prowess on the musical side of proceedings, their vocal was non-existent. A fail for their P.A as the band sounded great much to the animated front man’s dismay, but upon listening to the cds generously given away, I can appreciate the full effect.
Black Label Society opens up as they mean to go on; hard and heavy with ‘The Beginning… At Last’, it’s all so expertly executed, the music comes across as effortless. The guitar riffs seem unrelenting, providing a perfect backdrop for Zakk Wylde’s gravelly vocal tones. The set list of ‘Funeral Bell’, ‘Godspeed Hellbound’, and ‘Damn The Flood’ accompany a sunset closing with ‘Stillborn’.
The day for me is all about the undeniable stage showman that is Rob Zombie. Surrounded onstage by huge images of undead legends, Mr Zombie himself looks every inch the personification of a cult rock symbol. Dressed in a fringed jacket his dreadlocks mimic their movement creating a flurry of drama within a few simple movements.
Opening his set with ‘Teenage Nosferatu Pussy’, the crowd are in the palm of his hand as the descending night frames Zombie in a cloak of darkness. Predictably the White Zombie hits ‘More Human Than Human’ and ‘Thunder Kiss 65′ are on the agenda. However, the set list takes on a delicious twist as he covers James Brown’s funk anthem’ Get On Up ( I feel like being a sex machine)’and the crowd eat the diversity up. This isn’t the only nod to classics as ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ (better known as the song that spawned a thousand ‘hey ho lets go’ t shirts) gets the once over by RZ and serves as a truly memorable moment for any fan of the Ramones. The encore starts with ‘Lords Of Salem’ and concludes with the rifftastic late nineties hit ‘Dragula’; a fitting and triumphant close for the Ronnie James Dio stage.
All that is left is the sadness of Monday blues as many revellers head towards home I leave Bloodstock armed full of many memories. It’s a grave misjudgement to start and end a review of a festival purely based on the music; the festival as a whole must come under strict scrutiny. Bloodstock has, since my last visit back in 2008, become a larger and more fun event, gaining a wider spectrum of people and attitudes. The festival stands as a beacon of originality where, if one so wishes, has the freedom to run around in a wedding dress, Clockwork Orange costume, as Jesus, or even a nappy without the feeling of social damnation. Plus there’s metal too, in all its glorious shapes and sizes from its heavier acts such as Cannibal Corpse to the lighter Within Temptation, Bloodstock brings Heavy Metal and rock to a wider audience while keeping the focus set to fun and enjoyment. Would I go back? I have already booked the time off. Thank you Bloodstock! Stay crazy.
Check out more of our photos from Sunday below. You can also check out all our photos from Bloodstock HERE.